Pharmacies, even the drive through windows, are impersonal and not set up to benefit the patient. When you write a prescription and give it to your patient, you are done. But your patient’s work is just beginning.
They must take that prescription to their pharmacy, which could be short distance, or it could be an hour or more away. They then submit their prescription to the pharmacy staff, who then places it in the pile of other prescriptions waiting to be filled.
The wait begins. It can sometimes take more than an hour to receive a filled prescription. Very few times does a patient receive proper education on the medicines they are prescribed. Furthermore, there is a lack of confidentiality provided, deterring patients from asking questions.
By the time your patient leaves the pharmacy, they feel tired, frustrated and insecure about their medicine.
Point of care dispensing eliminates all the frustrations experienced by patients at a pharmacy, making patients value you and your services.
Your patients are busy. Many take personal time from work to see you. Others must schedule rides because they are unable to drive themselves.
The last thing they want to have to add to their schedules is an unexpected trip to the pharmacy.
Even if the pharmacy is located right down the street from your office, it still takes time. Most of the major pharmacies take an hour to fill a prescription. So, they sit and wait, shop and wait, until finally their order is ready.
When a person is ill, this process is not appealing. Even when not ill, it is an inconvenience which causes some of your patients to skip the pharmacy altogether. They would rather risk their health than deal with the hassle of getting a prescription filled.
An in-office dispensary is not only convenient, it helps your patients’ follow-through with taking the medicines you deem necessary.
You may not be able to force your patients to take their prescriptions, but you can make it easier for them. An in-office dispensing system eliminates the excuse of not being able to get to the pharmacy.
It also allows you the opportunity to check their files to see if they are keeping up with refills. If they have never called in for a refill, they are most likely not taking their medicines.
This gives you a chance to contact the patient before their next appointment to find out why they are not taking their medications.
When you show you care by providing on-site prescriptions and status checkup calls, you are encouraging patients to follow through.
Pharmacies today are overwhelmed with orders. There are usually only one or two pharmacists on staff at a time. This leaves the technicians to do most of the work.
Technicians also make errors, such as mistaking one pill for another because they appear similar or because their names are closely related. Cross-contamination can also take place in a pharmacy, especially when counters are not properly cleaned between compounding, sorting and filling.
By filling prescriptions within your office, your patients can worry less about pharmacist errors and more about getting well.
Waiting in line to hear your name called at a pharmacy makes you feel a little anxious. And if it’s over the intercom, it can be quite embarrassing. People don’t really want other customs to know who they are. They want to go unnoticed when having a prescription filled.
In-office dispensing systems make confidentiality a priority. You are already following privacy guidelines strictly. So, adding a service such as this will easily fall under these regulations already being followed by your staff.
There will not be a lengthy line of people waiting behind or in front of your patients. There will never be any privacy violations, accidental or not.
When your patients go to the pharmacy to fill a prescription, a store clerk hands them their medicine and asks loudly if they need to see a pharmacist to answer any questions they have. Your patient looks at the pharmacist in the back of the room who is obviously behind schedule and shakes their head no.
Your patient refuses a pharmacist consult, even though it is desired. Instead, your patient is given a stack full of papers on the drugs they were just given and told to read them and call in with any questions.
The papers go straight into the trash as soon as your patient gets home.
If you are dispensing medicines to your patients, you have the perfect opportunity to provide them with worthwhile information regarding the medicine they are about to take. They can find out if the medicine you prescribed interacts with other medications.
They can also be taught when to take their medicine, how to take it and for how long. You should never assume patients are able to read the instructions and follow through.
In conclusion, you can provide the best services to your patients, right in your office. Using in-office dispensing allows your patients to experience short waiting times, easy refill ordering, confidentiality, proper education and much more.
Your patients will value you for the efforts you make in providing point of care dispensing. In return, they will offer you loyalty and praise, attracting more patients to your practice.
Without patients, you would have no practice. It’s important you begin asking your patients what they value most and implementing them in your office. Patients will gladly tell you their needs for better care, especially if it means they do not have to visit one of the many pharmacies with problems.
While there are many areas you can address for improvement, saving time and money for your patients is a great starting point. Then teaching patients about their medicine and helping them access care more efficiently can follow.
All these services will be valued and appreciated by your patients, giving them satisfaction with your services and one more reason to remain a loyal patient.